THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL


- by Mario Murillo.

{Vital insights into God's preparations for Revival - ed.}


    "If my people, which are called by my name, shall
    humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn
    from their wicked ways, then will l hear from heaven
    and will forgive their sin and will heal their land".
                                       - 2 Chronicles 7:14.

                  ________________________


    Another key similarity between revival and nuclear
    fission is a strange phenomenon that occurs right
    before the atom splits. The nucleus actually depresses.
    Scientists observe that the neutron bombardment
    which seemed to be changing the nucleus, now shows
    no sign of reaching critical mass. Nothing seems to be
    happening.
    
    That is also what happens right before a manifestation
    of God's glory. The revival core will be praying and
    sensing a rising tide of power and expectancy. All of a
    sudden, you hit a brick wall. The power is gone. God's
    presence seems to have lifted. Your prayers feel trapped
    in your mouth. A deep despair settles in. You feel
    physically drained.
    
    This is the dark night of the soul. This is where
    every revival pioneer has been before you and now it's
    your turn. It will take everything in you to keep
    moving. The sobering fact is that many who have
    reached the dark night of the soul have retreated.
    Eternity will reveal a long, sad history of revival
    near-misses.
    
    Let me stat emphatically that 90% of revival is
    getting to the point where an unshakeable resolve is
    born. Everything you have done before you reach this
    dark night will seem unimportant. It is what you do
    now that makes or breaks your heart's desire.

    At no other time does God express love more than
    when He allows this time of total emptiness. God risks
    being misunderstood. He faces the potential of one of
    His children walking away frustrated and confused, but
    He believes the good it will produce is well worth the
    risk.
    
    What do you do when this cloud of darkness settles
    on you?
    
    Scientists respond to a depressed nucleus by intensifying
    the neutron beam, and resolve to do so until fission
    occurs. They commit to keep moving, not relying on any
    physical signs. That is precisely what we must do to see
    the end of this night.
    
    Why does God allow this dark night? I strongly believe
    that our Father realised that those through whom He works
    to bring revival receive great praise from the church and
    awesome attacks from Satan. A person lacking humility
    won't survive the praise of men. A person without
    perseverance won't overcome Satan. The revival core must
    realise this and stand the test.
    
    Just as a scientist turns up the force of the neutron
    beam even though he sees no result, so true revivalists
    will turn up their prayer during the dark night of the
    soul. If the children of God demonstrate that they
    won't go by what they see or feel, God will know that
    He has vessels that will not rely on circumstances or
    feelings to keep them on a straight course.
    
    If the prayer of the revival core continues during this
    dark night, their true motive surfaces. The only thing
    that will hold us when the nucleus depresses is a pure
    heart of love for the lost and a true desire to see God
    glorified. God wisely observes that anyone who survives
    this night is rightfully suited to invade enemy
    territory.
    
    Again we see this fifth stage in our key verse,
    2 Chronicles 7:14, "...will humble themselves and pray,
    and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways...'
    
    It would seem that by this stage, God would know we
    have abandoned our sin. The issue, however, is something
    deeper; it deals with our ways.
    
    Our repentance has dealt with what we have done; now the
    purification focuses on what we are.
    
    The psalmist distinguished two aspects of God: His acts
    and His ways. "He made known his ways to Moses, his
    deeds to the people of Israel" (Psalm 103:7).
    
    The children of Israel only knew God from miracle to
    miracle, but Moses knew the deep intentions and the
    long-range plan of God. Moses understood the essence,
    heartbeat and direction of God.
    
    To turn from our wicked ways doesn't just mean to
    repent of our sins. Hitherto, we have repented of our
    acts, now we need deliverance from our ways.
    
    Gethsamane was the dark night of the soul for Jesus
    Christ; it was the test of His ways. You wonder if
    Jesus had to repent. The answer is no, but He had to
    be examined in His Father's court of justice.
    
    The dark night of the soul is a very baffling test, for
    it comes at a least expected time and with special
    conditions. The inner nature must be surprised, caught
    off guard, in order to be exposed and conquered.
    
    In the many records of revival, there is an almost
    uniform description of this crucible... on the mountain
    top one moment, feeling run over by a train the next.
    
    Joseph, barely recovered from a glorious dream, is
    thrown into a pit by his brothers. David, still hearing
    the chant of the throng saying, 'Saul has slain his
    thousands and David his ten thousands,' wakes up in a
    cave being hunted like an animal.
    
    Even Jesus, with the hosannas still ringing in His
    ears from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, now
    prays alone, cold, tormented, sweating blood, and
    surrounded by sleeping disciples.
    
    The battlements of heaven are waiting for that
    unmistakable ring of genuine obedience where the
    dragon of human nature has been met and beheaded.
    "Not my will but thy will be done!"
    
    Before the crown comes the bitter cup. It must be
    swallowed to the bitter dregs.
    
    So then, what is the Lord really looking for? A
    servant who knows that the cup cannot pass. Take
    heart if you wish that it would pass. Even Jesus asked
    if it was necessary tO drink. But He did not ask to
    escape because of fear of pain or selfishness. He asked
    because, for the first time in eternity, He would be
    separated from His Father. He knew that the plan to
    save man would have to break His Father's heart. Only
    Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah could begin to
    understand the grief.
    
    Herein lies the truth that releases the g]ory. In
    repenting of sin, we rid ourselves of evil but in the
    dark night of the soul, we surrender the things we
    dearly love, things we can't readily identify as being in
    conflict with God.
    
    Here the issue is not right and wrong, but high and
    low purposes of living.
    
    Spiritual awakening is not simply getting rid of sin, it
    is giving God what He wants.
    
    Again and again I have tried to stress that we must
    conclude with iron resolve that there is no substitute
    for revival. It is the higher ground we must reach
    because the flood is rising. No point of return can
    exist, no alternative can be considered.
    
    For fire to fall and consume the sacrifice, it must be
    innocent and without blemish, but, most of all, it must
    be on the altar to stay.
    
    Under every other circumstance our nature can hide,
    but in this dark night it screams for its way, and its
    many tentacles are exposed.
    
    The protest was immediate. "Why this waste?"
    screamed the apostles, led by Judas Iscariot. Their
    outrage was almost convincing. The ointment was
    worth a year's salary (maybe $12,000 today). It could
    have been used to have fed the poor, they argued
    (actually, Judas wanted to steal it).
    
    This is the entire issue with revival. They wanted to
    do something for God. Mary knew it was time to do
    something to God.
    
    The time has come to pour out our best on God. Jesus
    said, "The poor you have with you always." Good deeds
    are always available.
    
    America is spiritually dying because God has sales
    reps and not channels of His glory. We feverishly do
    the right things, almost as a bribe to postpone the
    needed pouring out of ourselves as a living sacrifice.
    
    Again we must no longer see the bad things as barriers
    to revival, but the seemingly good.
    
    We can't dole out precious ointment to the poor in
    doses that don't cure them or honor God. We must be
    poured out on God!
    
    Spiritual awakening means that the faithful become
    fiery, the decent become dynamic, and the acceptable
    become excellent. But, most of all, we become
    disgusted with our evil, and totally dissatisfied with our
    good.
    
    We realise that now is the time to pull out all the
    stops. No program is sacred, no worthy project is
    worth enough. None of the ointment can be spared. It
    is revival or death!
    
    As I said before, the nucleus of the atom depresses
    right before fission and in that lies another key parallel
    to revival... the nucleus explodes from that depressed
    condition. It does not split when it looks inflated and
    energetic but rather when it is shrunken and lifeless.
    
    Revival comes out of nowhere by sovereign timing.
    The prayer core is ready to fall from exhaustion but
    hangs on by its confidence in the faithfulness of God.
    
    Jehovah detects that special quality that can be
    rewarded with revival.
    
    An eviction notice falls with a loud crash on the porch
    of the local satanic supervisor. Angels receive their
    invasion orders. The prayer core looks up and sees the
    glory coming. The roar of God is about to be heard in
    the land once more....
    

(- This article is a chapter from the book "Critical Mass" by Mario Murillo).

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